Dispositionalism and Meaning Skepticism
Pinto (Silvio)
Source: Sorites 12, May 2001: 70-86
Paper - Abstract

Paper SummaryText Colour-Conventions


Author’s Abstract

    In a recent thought-provoking paper on skepticism concerning meaning (1997), Scott Soames claims that Kripke’s and Quine’s arguments that there are no facts about meanings are flawed for similar reasons. According to Soames, both of them are based on a confusion about how a certain kind of fact determines another (for instance, what it takes for a dispositional fact to determine a particular linguistic meaning). Soames’ strategy to refute the skeptical arguments advanced by Kripke and Quine involves distinguishing two notions of determination both of which, if applied unambiguously and consistently throughout the formulation of the above skeptical reasonings, would fall short of licensing the far-reaching and devastating skeptical conclusions that their proponents intended them to have. This paper is an attempt to vindicate the problem raised by the meaning skeptic, and to show that Soames’ suggested dispositional account cannot even partially solve it.

Comment:

Filed electronically with the full edition of Sorites 12

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